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I found a piece of paper on the hallway floor of my friends apartment complex, and on it is an oddly written question and an unreadable response. Can you figure this out?

Question:

WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY? WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY? WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY? WHAT DOES

Response:

HAT? WWHA SAE FX SAY?HAT THE FWHA

Why is the question written over and over again and then only partially the final time, as if it were cut off?

But more importantly:

What does the fox say?

Update:

I found another piece of paper. Again one readable line, and one unreadable. Maybe this will help us understand the previous paper:

Line 1:

BIRD GOES "TWEET" AND MOUSE GOES "SQUEEK"! BIRD GOES "TWEET" AND MOUSE GOES "S

Line 2:

USEK"! "TWEEWEE "TET" MOWEEOES "T BI

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1 Answer 1

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The answer to the question is:

I HAVE NO IDEA!

First of all,

We can notice that all of the characters in the response text appear in the question text. There also seem to be a lot of sets of contiguous characters that can be found as such in the question text.

It turns out that...

Both the question text and the response text can be divided up into trigrams, such that each trigram in the response text appears as a trigram in the question text.
WHA/T D/OES/ TH/E F/OX /SAY/? W/HAT/ DO/ES /THE/ FO/X S/AY?/ WH/AT /DOE/S T/HE /FOX/ SA/Y? /WHA/T D/OES
HAT/? W/WHA/ SA/E F/X S/AY?/HAT/ TH/E F/WHA

Now...

We can extract the answer from the response text. If we count the number of trigrams in the question text, it turns out to be 26, so it would seem reasonable to use A1Z26. Indeed, if a certain trigram from the response text is the nth trigram from the question text, we can extract the nth letter of the alphabet. This gives our final message, I HAVE NO IDEA.

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  • $\begingroup$ Well done! You can add to that that the answer to the update is rot13(Vaqrrq gurl qb) $\endgroup$
    – Pumesies
    Commented Jan 27, 2023 at 7:56
  • $\begingroup$ Very nicely done! I like how you showed your process of deduction! $\endgroup$
    – Hawkeye
    Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 2:47

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